By: ECD Brian
When I started playing lacrosse, going into a store and buying a pre-strung stick was not an option. The pockets were strung poorly and the mesh was rock solid. Those sticks would make better tennis rackets than lacrosse sticks. It was so frustrating, but there was no other option. So we would buy the stick, take it home, unstring it, break-in the mesh with shaving cream, then restring it. Even after all that effort, the pockets were still just ok (at that point the issue may have been that I really didn’t know how to string a proper pocket).
When we launched the original Mirage, the pre-strung pockets were still a huge issue in lacrosse. We thought about all the potential players who walked away from the game because catching and throwing was impossible on their first day and we swore we would do something to help improve that first experience. With that, our ELITE Pockets were born.
Our process has changed a little since the first time we strung our ELITE Pockets, but the goal still remains the same: Provide a perfect pocket, fit for any level of play, right off the shelf. Here is how we do it:
First, it’s important to note that every head, no matter how similar, have subtle differences that allow them to cater to different types of players. These subtle differences also mean they all string up slightly differently. Keeping that in mind, we start the pocket development process as soon as we have the first 3D print of a new head. We take the initial 3D print and start testing different pockets. This not only allows us to create a perfect pocket, but it also helps us dial in every detail of our new heads. Take a look at the Mirage 2.0 prototype below. You can see below how basic the first 3D print was when we started developing the ELITE Pocket.
As the 3D model of the head progresses, so does the pocket. Each 3D print is strung and tested. While we know what we want the final pocket to do, we let the head dictate the pocket, so they work together perfectly when they finally hit the field.
Once the final pocket is ready, our team of local stringers are taught the new pocket and given a few heads to practice. This step is critical in making sure all of our ELITE Pockets are consistent. Each test pocket is reviewed and graded, and a stringer is not permitted to move on to the final ELITE Pockets until they hit our high standards.
Now that the team is trained and ready, they are ready to go into full production. As soon as the first heads make it to our warehouse, they are sent home with our stringers, strung, and returned for quality inspection. If a head does not meet our standards, it is set aside to be fixed. Right now, our team consists of around 10 stringers who have combined to string well over 10,000 heads. The stringing team is dialed in and they take a ton of pride in stringing perfect pockets.
It is a ton of work to provide perfect pre-strung pockets, but we believe it is worth it. To us, the pocket is the most important piece of your equipment. You can put a great pocket in a bad head and still have success, but a bad pocket in any head will be sure to ruin your playing experience.
So next time you are ready to buy a new head, don’t be afraid to check out our ELITE Pockets. They are always ready to roll. And if you want to add some color, check out our customizer and our team of stringers will have it ready to ship the next day.